What is CRI and why is it so important in LED lighting?


What is the IRC or IRC?

CRI stands for Colour Rendering Index, which means Colour Rendering Index. It is an index between 0 and 100 that is used to measure the ability of a light source to faithfully reproduce the colours of objects.


How is the LRC calculated?

Thanks to colour spectrum meters such as the spectrocolourimeter or the spectroradiometer, we can characterise the amount of energy emitted by a light source at different wavelengths, usually in illumination, in the range of the visible spectrum.

Different light sources have different spectral distributions. On the other hand, we must understand that objects do not have colours in themselves, but reflect part of the light spectrum, which we interpret as colour when it reaches our eyes.

A fluorescent or discharge lamp, for example, generally has a very poor colour rendering, low CRI, and therefore the colours of the objects on which they project their light will not appear true to life. LED technology can provide a much higher range of CRIs.


What should we consider when we talk about the colour rendering index?

The colour rendering of a light source can be assessed by means of different ranges:

  • CRI>60 to CRI>80 are low CRI values so colour fidelity will be poor.
  • CRI>80 to CRI>90 is the most common range of LED light sources. The reliability of the colours we perceive is adequate for everyday needs and very common in our homes. Having CRI>80 is a mandatory requirement for indoor lighting, except in industry.
  • CRI>90 to CRI>95 is the highest range in which colours are reproduced very faithfully. That is, our eyes would barely distinguish whether a colour is under a light source with CRI>92, CRI>95 or natural light.



Thus, a high CRI value can make objects appear bright, vivid and lifelike, while other light sources with low CRI values will make objects appear dull, lifeless and unrecognisable. It is clear that it is important that the lighting reproduces colours accurately. Especially if the experience of our customers depends on it.

Where is it advisable to apply a luminaire with > or higher?

Normally in our homes we do not use lighting with a CRI>90. Ideally, LEDs with a CRI between 80 and 90 should be used. However, use lamps, projectors or screens with a CRI>90 or higher in places like wardrobes, bathrooms and kitchens can be a good choice, as it will provide high colour fidelity for colour reproduction in situations where the colour of clothing and accessories, make-up or food is important.

Outside of our homes, lighting with a CRI>90 or higher is essential for spaces or businesses such as retail, museums, hairdressing and beauty salons, workshops, restaurants and cafés, recording or photography studios, offices, printing houses, classrooms, department stores, hotels and health centres where colours are the protagonist.

LED lighting with a high Colour Rendering Index is very important for lighting photographic or recording studios and sports venues where there is television broadcasting as we will be looking for the highest possible colour fidelity during photographic, editorial and artistic shoots.

The lighting needs of these spaces require solutions with a > or higher.

In the case of businesses such as restaurants and cafés, it is essential that we use lighting with a high CRI because the food and beverages must look as succulent and appetising as possible. In these spaces, fidelity in colour reproduction plays a crucial role even in creating a memorable social experience.

For catering spaces we recommend the use of combined solutions such as the use of CHIO track spotlights in combination with our KOBE downlights with colour temperature control via the switch. In this way, we can play with the luminaires to form differentiated areas within the premises, providing a unique experience.


Chromatic Reproduction in art galleries

To illuminate clothing shops, art galleries and workshops and to make them look modern, clean and where the products are the protagonists, we recommend the use of CHIO track-mounted floodlights combined with KOBE downlights with CRI>90 that additionally have a switch to select the colour temperature for the desired application.

In this way, shopping with an appreciation of the original colours of the targets will create a real experience for users. The CHIO Avant three-phase track spotlight has a minimalist design that is perfectly suited to the decoration of shops or art galleries thanks to its 36° opening angle and adjustable head.

In spaces where natural light can be used, such as offices, classrooms, large retail outlets and healthcare facilities, glare control in indoor areas is essential. For this reason, we recommend the use of professional ceiling-mounted screens such as our Silent LED I UGR which contains a daylight control system to provide greater visual comfort to work areas or prolonged stays.

Our Silent LED I UGR can be manufactured on demand with the Bluetooth, Classroom or CTE Pack. to comply with current regulations and to have greater control and use of natural light, regulate the intensity of the luminaires and be faithful to the chromatic reproduction so that not a single detail is lost.


Adaptive lighting solutions from Prilux

The variety of Prilux luminaires offer a wide range of solutions adaptable to the needs and requirements of the premises or business. Our indoor solutions provide maximum comfort and energy efficiency in professional interiors by adapting the lighting to the needs of the moment and the day.

Prilux CRI90 Solutions

  • CHIO track spotlight: ideal for offices, retail, home, art galleries, hairdressing and beauty salons, department stores, hotels and restaurants. Available in CRI>90 and 3.000/4.000K
  • KOBE downlight: provides high performance to achieve high levels and make the most of URG controls. Available in CRI>90 and 3.000/4.000K.
  • Silent LED I URG panel: perfect for use in offices, classrooms, retail, home, department stores, hotels, restaurants and healthcare facilities. Available in CRI>90 and 4.000K.


We bring optimisation to installations through intelligent control and management, making you save energy with our LED technology. How can we help you?

Find your CRI solution with Prilux!

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